Jose Mourinho has denied he has had a training ground bust-up with left back Danny Rose.
Reports had circulated that Rose and Mourinho were involved in a heated argument in training on Monday after the England left back was unhappy to be left out of the squad for the 0-0 draw at Watford on Saturday.
Mourinho had said that Rose was out injured with a back problem but the left back has since denied he wasn’t fit to play against the Hornets.
Speaking to the media ahead of Spurs’ home game against Norwich on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:30 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho wasn’t having any of it.
“I don’t know what you mean by tension in the air, I don’t have a problem with him,” Mourinho said. “On the Thursday before Watford late evening I got a call from my medical staff saying that Danny was calling them with a problem in his back and he wouldn’t train the next day. Friday it was a bit of a surprise to see him training, but even so I decided to play with (Japhet) Tanganga and have Ryan (Sessegnon) on the bench. That is the situation.”
Mourinho added that Rose’s display against Liverpool was “not phenomenal” and reading between the lines, he was dropped.
If there wasn’t an incident or at least some anger between Rose and Mourinho, why would reports of this nature surface?
With youngster Japhet Tanganga starting at left back for Tottenham, and doing a very good job as Mourinho praised him afterwards, it is understandable that Rose would have his nose put out of joint a little.
The England international has less than 18 months left on his current contract at Spurs and has already spoken publicly about his plans to run down that deal as chairman Daniel Levy hasn’t offered him a new deal.
It will be intriguing to see how this plays out as Tanganga now seems to be Spurs’ first choice left back and Rose will have to be happy with playing a bit-part role between now and the end of the season.
His experience and quality is undoubted but with Spurs’ defensive unit all over the place this season, Mourinho is well within his rights to mix things up with formations and personnel as he tries to make Tottenham tough to beat.